Dog-Gone It!

My dog ate my door.

No, that is not a type-o or a euphemism or a metaphor.

MY DOG ATE MY DOOR!

We came home from our trip, picked the dog up from the usual dog-sitters, brought her home and carried on with life as usual.

Except suddenly, life “as usual” is not good enough for our dog. She has developed a staggering case of separation anxiety, and on Friday night while we were out she ate a big piece of molding off our front door! (Along with making a huge mess of the room where her food is.) We made sure she wasn’t left for long over the rest of the weekend, and gave her lots of exercise.

It hasn’t helped.

Her anxiety’s been getting steadily worse over the past couple days, and this morning I couldn’t even shower alone. She clawed and whined at the bathroom door until I opened it.

We have no idea what triggered the anxiety. She’s 6.5 years old and has never had a problem before. She’s had plenty of upheaval in her life and has always settled immediately back into a routine without being destructive. She always goes to the same dog-sitters, and she’s been with them for a 3 week vacation before.

The only thing new, is that our dog-sitters now have a dog of their own, and she became quite good friends with that dog while we were away. Does she miss having a buddy SO badly that she can no longer handle being alone? That would be terrible, considering we are not going to get another dog.

Anyone out there had experience with a sudden onset of separation anxiety in their dog? Any suggestions for what to do about it?

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I would prefer she stick to eating ice cream.

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2 thoughts on “Dog-Gone It!

  1. Oana

    Yikes. You might consult a dog trainer who specializes in this? I would think you could spend a couple of days rewarding her for small steps, like not whining when you disappear behind a door / stay in the bathroom for a few minutes / leave the house and stay outside for a bit / then do those things for longer and longer. You could try getting her a stuffed toy dog for company?

  2. peechie Post author

    We took her to the vet last night, and after talking through her zero-to-destruction overnight switch, and everything going on around our house, we’ve figured it’s probably the construction site that sprung up out back while we were gone.

    The noise and crane outside our window (now that we’re aware of it) are pretty obviously terrifying her. Combine that with the fact the noises only happen during the day (while we’re at work) and she’s associated us leaving with terrifying noises and a menacing “thing” outside her window.

    So we’ve now got her on anti-anxiety medication (Clonicalm) and are using Dog Appeasing Pheromone, are staying home with her the rest of the week, so she learns that the noises aren’t something to be afraid of, making a few more adjustments around the house (dark curtains so she can’t see the crane) and upping her time with her walker from 2-5 days/week.

    Hopefully those combined will have her set right sooner rather than later.

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